PI: Linhua Jiang, Arizona State University, firstname.lastname@example.org
Address: School of Earth and Space Exploration, 550 E Tyler Mall PSF 686, Tempe, AZ 85287, USA
CoI: Xiaohui Fan, University of Arizona
CoI: Ian McGreer, University of Arizona
CoI: Fuyan Bian, Australian National University
Title: Y-band Imaging of Quasar Candidates at z>6.5 Selected in the SDSS Stripe 82
Abstract: We propose to use Mayall/NEWFIRM to carry out Y-band imaging of z>6.5 quasar candidates selected in the SDSS Stripe 82. Stripe 82 is a unique area of 300 deg^2, and has deep multi-epoch images in the ugriz bands. It is also covered by the VISTA survey in the J and K bands. The combination of the SDSS and VISTA data allow us to search for z>6.5 quasars in a wide area. The quasar candidates were selected as z-band dropout objects, and the majority of them are L/T dwarfs. The Y-J color is the most efficient way to separate quasars from L/T dwarfs, so the proposed imaging is a key step to remove quasar contaminants. From the current list of candidates, we expect to find more than three quasars at 6.5<z<7.5. This will double the number of quasars currently known and improve the measurement of the quasar luminosity function (QLF) at z>6.5. The new quasars and QLF will be used to explore many sciences related to high-redshift universe. They put strong constraints on models of the earliest black hole formation and accretion. They help us understand star formation and chemical enrichment in quasar environments via emission line properties. Their optical spectra will provide a powerful tool to probe the ionizing state of the IGM at z>6.5 by measuring spectral features such as Gunn- Peterson troughs. They will also be used to estimate the quasar contribution to cosmic reionization.
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